One can only imagine the motivation for killing Sketchup Make in favor of the “free” web-based Sketchup. One can only imagine that it was financial, that those at the top felt they were giving away too much by having Make be “free”. But I believe that while some new users might find the simplicity of the web UI appealing, there are so many negatives that people given the choice of going from Make to Pro or to the Free web-based tool, will quite likely opt out of Sketchup altogether. The free web based tool is not an adequate replacement for make and people won’t pay $600 to go Pro.
Don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of people who will “play” with the web tool, possibly even use it effectively for some projects. It might even bring some into the Sketchup fold. But the step from there to Pro is too big. I suggest that a more effective strategy would have been to keep Make, but put a price on it - say, somewhere around 1/2 the price of Pro, AND have the free web based. That way you’re not cutting off your users (I suspect you have many more Make users than Pro) at the knees and offering an untenable choice - step back to an inferior and awkward web-based tool or pay up and go Pro. I predict you’ll lose more people by dumping Make than you would have by putting a $200 price on it.
As for me, that you have dropped the download version of Sketchup Make is very unsatisfactory. Timing is worse. I own the professional version and use it extensively. I am an evangelist of sorts, having encouraged more than a dozen people to download and use Make. A couple of them have gone on to buy Pro. I am a member of a woodworker’s club here in Sun City that has close to 600 members. I have been asked to teach Sketchup to any/all that are interested. While I like the idea of a web based version, I don’t want to teach it because I forces me to learn a 2nd UI very quickly (first class is tomorrow). Worse, the shop currently does not have wifi, so attendees cannot follow along on their laptops. Personally, I think this was a boneheaded mistake and I think you all will figure that out soon. I also believe, in the long run, people will be less likely to upgrade to professional due to the re-learning curve on the UI. Either I must cancel the class or tell people to download the Make 2017 version - which is exactly what I plan to do. Then, once they’re hooked, they can decide for themselves - do they want to buy the Pro version or relearn the UI on the web. At least they’ll have time to make that decision.
You’ve got Make - a subset of Pro, so it’s not like you have to support a separate code base - like you must for the Free web-version. So, let’s see, you’ve taken on additional development workload, cut off users loyal to the Make with no option to purchase it for a reasonable price, and are forcing people to go Pro. I don’t see that as a very smart business decision. But if you are somehow enamored with a web-based version, why not have three - Pro at $600, Make at $240 and Free at 0? Come to think of it, if you want to consume additional development resources, why web-based at all - why not do an app that runs w/o lifeline connection to cloud and runs on smart devices like tablets, etc.???
I don’t get it.